And in a bizarre turn of events, it seems that the most boring looks of the 2019 Met Gala have garnered the most attention. Enter in Kanye West and Frank Ocean.
Appearing more like security escorts rather than guests, the two celebrities who are normally both known for not only their music but street style moves (West is a designer for goodness sake!?) arrived at the Metropolitan Museum in New York wearing black pants and a bomber. There is plenty of criticism surrounding the two looks but it appears that their chosen threads are more thought out than we initially thought.
This year’s Met Gala theme was based on the 1964 essay “Notes on Camp” written by Susan Sontag. While it was interpreted in several ways – luckily no one turned up as a tent – there were gold wings, replica heads and everything in between so when delving into the original essay it turns out that perhaps West and Ocean were onto something.
An excerpt from the notes read: “Camp is the attempt to do something extraordinary. But extraordinary in the sense, often, of being special, glamorous…Not extraordinary merely in the sense of effort. Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not items are rarely campy.” And later continues with: “something of a private code, a badge of identity even, among small urban cliques.”
— Lauren 💃🏻 (@laurenquig90) May 7, 2019
West standing next to wife Kim Kardashian wore a t-shirt, black dickies bomber, pants and Yeezy combat boots while Ocean was similarly dressed yet donned a Prada pullover with the addition of a black tie. After interpreting the notes, it seems that the effort to make no effort was what made the pair special to the red carpet amidst feathers and sequins. Keeping up? In this particular case, the extraordinary was to be ordinary so therefore was “camp”.
Though being the Met Gala, I’d think it’d be appropriate to at least put a little glam in there. Even a sequin tie would have sufficed. Whether it was deliberate or a coincidence it doesn’t excuse being underdress by any means. But in the meaning of camp, each to their own.